The year that was; 2018

Before going into how this year actually was, can I get a pat on my back for continuing this blog for FOUR years! Aaand this is my 4th year-recap post haha, wow. (2015, 2016, 2017)

Writing the year recap is an exhausting task because I have to hunt for the event specific pictures from 5 google drives. I could, of course, write without adding a hundred pictures, but that’s not me. It’s 1:12 PM, December 25, that I have started writing with a playlist of 347 songs in the background. It’s going to be a long post. Let’s see when I finish.

By 6:29 PM, I have downloaded every picture I might need on the way. It’s still a long way categorizing and deleting because even I can’t possibly look at 173 pictures of me :p

Unlike going month wise like last year, I’ll highlight some things that stood up in the entire list of happenings.

Fit Shit

I have always been a healthy fat kid. Although I was never teased for it, it always hampered my self-esteem. It needed to change, high time. I have been trying to get healthy for a few years but it was always a failed attempt. This year’s impulse was a lot stronger somehow.

It was only in June that I realized how low my stamina was when I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without pausing for breath.  I needed a goal to accomplish, or this year would have seen another failed attempt to get fit. That is when I remembered my 2017 goal for 2018: the half marathon. And so I registered for that, along with a few more to get practice. The first one was the toughest with poor timing. But it only encouraged me to improve. And the improvement showed in the second when I didn’t pause for the entire 10km run. It was a big deal for me. A very big deal. The half marathon now seemed achievable. Last month of intense practice with my brother and the big day came. Waking up at 3:10 AM, getting ready for the big race. It was as dramatic for me as it sounds. The first 10KM were easy but it was getting more and more demanding further on. Had it not been for my childhood friend running with me, completing it would have been a  lot more difficult. 3 hours later, running past the finish line brought me immeasurable joy. My feet felt terrible, legs were aching but I had the biggest smile on my stupid little face.

I’ll repeat this feat soon again, with much better timing. Rather, I am going to continue running marathons for my entire life just for the finish line feeling. I have a goal for January 2020 which is quite out of reach right now but if I accomplish that, I’ll never doubt myself ever again.

And now? I am comfortable in my skin, I like my body. My stamina has increased and I can also fit in the medium sizes, down from extra large. I wonder if that’s a good thing or just a drawback on my wallet :p

After running quite a lot, it became a bit boring. Thus I got my first bicycle ever (not counting the one with the side wheels and the hand-me-downs of the brother) and started cycling to continue the fit shit! I LOVE IT. I haven’t been anywhere far yet but that is the goal. To go really really far.

Resumed playing tennis as well for a couple of weeks but it’s on a break till the pollution and cold subside.

What I love the most about running, cycling and also tennis is that I am doing it all in the outside, in nature. I have had something against the gym since forever. I will always hate exercising inside as long as there are trees outside (these views were made years before the horrendous pollution of course, but I’ll stick to them).

Also, did I mention the afterglow of working out? Um, it’s AMAZING. You can’t tell if I am blushing or not haha.

Travelogue

#Amritsar; January

This picture was taken at the Wagah Border of India-Pakistan. It was such a patriotic and enthusiastic atmosphere. I also visited the Golden Temple at an age that I could remember visiting it.

#Triund; June

First trek. Something I’ll remember for a long time. Read the detailed post here.

If only I could get that glow after waking up daily in Delhi :))

#Agra; July

A day trip with a college friend. I hadn’t expected Taj Mahal to be so big. To prevent the yellowing of TM’s marble, there are no factories or huge buildings in the vicinity of TM, thus making it visible even from miles away.

This picture is second in the Bournvita series, look out for it :p I lied for the first time in public to get this picture haha.

#Vadodara; December

I learned the meaning of adventure from this little mother-daughter trip. Let’s just say that legends make mistakes too.

However, apart from the last day drama-adventure, the 3 days with mom were pretty fun, as opposed to what I had imagined. Mom’s cool, Gujarat is cool, the tallest statue in the world is cool, Dhokla is the coolest.

I also wrote about this journey in my first ever travel journal with pictures placed in between. It looks really cool but was really difficult to write!

Hot mess

^Couldn’t help hehe
“2017: I had a haircut for the first time. It was not like I expected but it was something entirely new for me!!!! Next year, I am going for a bob cut.”

And I did! I wanted to try out short hair for so long. I like it a lot. (hello new look for 200 bucks!) Just need to learn how to make them look good on a daily basis xD

Another reason why cutting my hair this short was a big deal is because I am a Sikh by birth and we are not supposed to cut our kesh ideally. I write ‘by birth’ because it was not my choice. By choice I am a deist, believing in God but rejecting any religion whatsoever. Except for Satanism maybe. jk.

I have been wearing a cap in front of my grandparents because it never hurts to not hurt anybody else’s sentiments.

All these beliefs might change as I grow like my brother’s did. He now firmly believes that life is nothing but a scam.

After posting a picture of the new hair, I received quite a lot of reactions from people I haven’t talked to in ages. I replied with a thank you and things went back to how they were. Weird.

Short hair comes with some pros and cons, mostly pros. The biggest pro for me is that I finally have a pose. I never know where to put my hands when a picture is being taken. I know now 😉

Creativity, kinda

I did not use the wallpaper carousel this year; I clicked my own wallpapers 🙂

I will also remember the day when despite being a scriptwriter in the film and photography club, two of my shots were displayed in the annual exhibition when many photographers’ were not. I am not bragging but yeah maybe I am. It felt good because I only click on my mobile. Redmi mobile :3 So just imagine my potential with a DSLR 😉

To continue the habit of taking pictures and writing, I created an Instagram page where I post random pictures weekly with the date that they were clicked on and write random captions for it. I would like to emphasize that it is not a photography page. The pictures are not professional, they are just some captured moments.  It is simply a creativity page.

I try to write spontaneously without putting in too much thought. I like the result mostly, sometimes not. My favorite post so far would be the last one:

View this post on Instagram

12.12.18 It wasn't a great day. Blaming unexpected questions than my lack of practice, I went cycling to get some unfresh air and a clear mind. A fun podcast in the background and some trees winding around. I love trees. But oh, a fallen tree on my way and I had to change paths. It was that path that you see all the time, pass all the time, but never really tread on. Just because there's a better path right next to it. But when I did enter that 'road not taken' , it was welcoming. Halfway through, I paused. A seemingly old man was trying to repair his car through the magical power of staring at the engine. Because he certainly did not touch anything for a long time. And I just watched. Because above that man were three little people, walking towards the Sun, or heaven, who knows. It was captivating. One of them descended down, maybe to hell. And the seemingly old man's magic worked. Starting the car, he went off to his magical journey. And before the two little people's fate was decided, I captured them. The cycling resumed. I guess all the roads should be taken. Life is odd. New things where you never thought there could be anything new. Like when you've been cooking white sauce since long but get to know that it's actually Béchamel, courtesy Vir Sanghvi's weekly rude food. Oh how I wish I could gulp down the fancy and hard to pronounce delicacies that these food critics do. I wish I could dine in one of those Michelin star restaurants atleast once. But when I read that the avid traveler spent rupees ninety seven thousand on one single meal; the thirty rupees dhokla suddenly brings me immeasurable joy. Almost three thousand two hundred and thirty three times 😉 I think I have deviated from my point. But hey, what was my point? हाहा! . . . . . . . #thanksforreadingifyoudid #wowthathashtagexists #thataswell #iwillstopnow #ohshit #exaggeratingsubtly #thatdidnotexist #butthatdid #winloss #bye . . . . . . . #htbrunch #virsanghvi #rudefood #traveldiaries #instalike #photooftheday #travelgram #photographer #streetphotography #photographersofindia #roadnottaken #michelinstar #photography #makemoments #writersofinstagram #foodporn #ofpicturesandwords #unlimitedness

A post shared by M. (@unlimitedness._) on

You can visit the page here: https://www.instagram.com/unlimitedness._/

The Small Screen

Another great year of TV shows. Favorites would be Scrubs, Fleabag, Bojack, The Office, and Little Things.

Here are some dialogues between my left brain and right brain:

R: Man this is awesome, I should take it slow, one episode at a time.
L: Life is short.
R: Damn right you are lefty.
_____
R: Man I waste so much time on Prime, should have read a book instead.
L: Don’t you wish to be a scriptwriter? If anything, you are watching less.
R: What would I do without you lefty?
_____
R: Man why are there so many relationships in every show. I want my Jim.
L: You’re no Pam. Phyllis at best.
R: Why would you do this lefty, we were so good together 😥
_____

 

The No Screen

Books bought: 37
Books read: 19
I clearly have a problem.
_____
However, it was still a good year of books because I finally started reading Hindi books AND the first Hindi book’s first chapter contained my life story hahaha (picture 2).

I also participated in the Goodreads Secret Santa for the third time and received not one but TWO books from my Secret Santa! Last year, I had been generous and sent 2 books to my Christ child and I think it can clearly be established that Karma. Returns. Back.

What I absolutely LOVE about the second book (The Stand by Stephen King) is how huge it is. All the doubts I had about purchasing a kindle vanished away when I held this 1300 pages long paperback in my hands. A million free eBooks can’t make me feel the same. Period.

I also created a list of all the physical books I own and the number is 224. Would I ever read every book I own? No.

The goal for next year: Read 25 good books. Maybe some classics too. I really want to be able to discuss books with people. And movies. And politics. And life. Oh, the list is long. I just want to be able to talk for a change and not just listen.

Interning

3 internships, a few experiences, a few friends.

#Consumers India: This could have been better if it was not an experimental internship with us being the first filmmaking batch. I still learned a few things including our research topic, “Difference between Icecreams and Frozen Desserts” (read here in short) and the fact that there exists a house with better pakodas than mine. It was a pleasant shock and I literally smuggled some pakodas on our last day. Food first, reputation later.

#Yoddhas: It is a cancer-based NGO, bridging the gap between patients, doctors, and caregivers through the largest online portal in India. With monthly awareness events, I learned a lot about our health in general and also listened to overwhelming stories of cancer survivors. I am grateful to have a healthy life, and so should everybody.

#YesFoundation: Favourite internship so far. Albeit not that helpful. A two month long paid internship with an NGO. It was pretty ideal for me. That changed subsequently when I was the only one in the 200+ cohort to be placed alone in an NGO. My hopes of befriending new people and working as a team shattered. The NGO I was placed in wasn’t too enthused either, so I was kind of free for 2 months. So I did a lot of other things in that time, including a lot of local travel and meet and greet.

However, what I loved about this internship was that I was working in a field that I had wanted to explore for a long time: filmmaking. In those 2 months, I had to create a short documentary about the NGO. It didn’t turn out to be great but I actually put in a lot of effort, doing everything from scratch. Taking videos, interviews, downloading the appropriate software hack, learning that software, editing, music, everything on my own. I love the video for that and only that. And when I added the byline “created by Muskaan” in the end, man I had goosebumps imagining the same on a big screen someday. 🙂

I did make some friends during the training period. I wonder if the boy from Satna would still be recommending me books five years down the line haha.

Social Life

2018 was socially lit thanks to:

Who needs friends when you got dogs?

We used to be scared of the dogs when we moved here. And now, not only have me named them, shook their hands, but also have a 5 chapati breakfast ready on most mornings. (Leftover in the lunch and dinner)

Bestie, Westie, Humpty, and Dumpty.

They are not always good, though. Quite selfish at times and always in the hunt to increase their perimeter of control in the neighborhood by peeing on cars. But in the end, still better than humans. I wish to own 2 dogs in the future. And some more animals. Probably a lot.

______

College friendships became stronger, they now laugh at me than my PJs. School friendships became a little weaker, but I guess that’s the course of life.

I also met my internet friend of 4.5 years for the first time in person. I think I could call it the most courageous thing I have done all year, given how big an introvert I am. It was something I was looking forward to but at the same time wanted to back out because of how awkward it might be. It was no doubt a little awkward, but I am glad we met! (Also, please watch Up)

I also got a few pointers for the future me meeting anybody new. Just one actually: have LOTS of topics in mind to talk about or you’ll have to be lame and search for them on the internet xD

Thanks for my first donut, topper 😉

Random

Random fact: I take a lot of screenshots. So many that I have categorized my screenshots in different folders. Hmm categorizing has become a part of me I guess. Here are some, over the year.

 

Among other things, I would also like to say that I am proud of my bhai. Just in general. He gives great pieces of advice, I think I should start following a few :p

Bhai with his SAI team at the Sports Minister’s treehouse; with the minister.

Lastly, the piggy bank returned! And thanks to some generous relatives and a lot of festivals, I saved more than I would have thought. It is indeed a great technique to save some money for your wishlist.

A lot of other things happened in this pretty eventful year. Some surprises, some spontaneous plans, some canceled plans, a new crush,  a lot of coincidences and a lot of shawarma eating. My favorite posts of the year would be Sunday,  The month of realizations and Monthly mourning. I like all of them though.  I also celebrated my last teen birthday. I don’t like growing up.

Ending the year with one of the best and favorite songs of the decade:

“2017: I plan to do just 2 things the coming year; be a little more confident and run the half marathon. (3rd is to read newspapers regularly heh). Wish me luck?”

^I think I succeeded partly!

As far as 2019 goes, I wish to do just 2 things again; speak more and remain fit. (3rd is to read newspapers regularly HAHA). Wish me luck?

I wonder why do I write these recaps when I already have a lot of material in the form of journals and other things. It’s consolidated I suppose. Eh, I just like sharing some fun memories. It was a good year, indeed.

2019, please be better!

एक दफ़ा तस्सली से मुस्कुरा कर तो देखो
मुश्किलें थम जाएँगी ।।

love, M

P.S. Ended writing on December 27, 4:36 PM; song number 157. I love you, IndieAir, from the bottom of my heart. Any bets for next year’s number? 😉

P.P.S. My brother just ditched me for 31st for a party with his friends, so ignore the little praise up there.

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